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Google+, patent battles, Steve Jobs… the top tech stories of 2011

It has been another great year for tech world. There have been great games, new laptops, new tablets and so many smartphones we could barely keep up.

But leaving hardware aside for a minute (if you can!), what are the top stories that have dominated the tech year?

We’ve had all sorts: controversy, tragedy, patent squabbling and a new social network. Here is our pick of the biggest tech stories of the year.

Blackberry outage

This only happened a few months ago, but it already feels like a distant memory. Blackberry manufacturers RIM will be hoping it stays that way, as the national (and then international) service failure saw the public turn against Blackberry.

During a service update at Blackberry HQ in Slough, a data server crashed and caused global problems to Blackberry users’ email, web browsing and, worst of all, their beloved BBM.

Google goes social

The internet search giant was getting a little annoyed at Facebook and Twitter having all the fun, so decided to launch its own type of social network.

Google+ was hailed as the ultimate social network, destined to leave its rivals behind as it dominated the social side of the web. So far, it hasn’t quite lived up those expectations. But with over 40 million members already, who knows what 2012 has in store.

Apple and Samsung duke it out

The worldwide battle of smartphone and tablet patents was another big tech story of the year. Apple has been the common theme throughout, as they sue and get sued over technology patents.

Samsung landed a blow last month, as an Australian court overturned a sales ban on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, much to Apple’s dismay.

In a more recent development, Motorola Mobility has won a court case against Apple in Germany which could lead to a sales ban of the iPhone and iPad. Apple is intending to appeal, so it’s all to play for in 2012!

Steve Jobs passes away

The world mourned the death of Apple CEO and tech visionary Steve Jobs in October. Tributes flooded in for the man who brought us the game-changing iPod, as well as the iPhone and iPad.

Politicians, celebrities and key players in the tech world were full of praise for the Apple co-founder, who will not be forgotten.